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The Real Jesus of Nazareth

The Real Jesus of Nazareth

Real_jesus_of_nazareth_241x208
  • Premiered: 
    April 16, 2017
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Smithsonian
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Documentary celebrating 40th anniversary of Jesus of Nazareth 
  • Subject Matter: Religious
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Plot Synopsis

THE REAL JESUS OF NAZARETH is a four-part documentary series that combines scenes from the 1977 miniseries JESUS OF NAZARETH with the journey of Robert Powell, who portrayed the Son of God, throughout modern Israel, where he meets archaeologists and scholars who help him reconstruct the story of the man who changed history and inspired billions. Returning to the Holy Land to investigate the life and times of the real historical figure who inspired Christianity, Powell takes viewers through the life of Jesus -- what his childhood looked like, the teachings that spawned a religion, and eventually his final days on Earth. Smithsonian premiered THE REAL JESUS OF NAZARETH over two nights from 8-10pm, with the first two episodes on Easter Sunday 2017 (April 16) and the final two episodes April 17, the Monday after Easter. The first hour, "The Lost Years," explores Jesus' early years around Nazareth and Bethlehem, most of which are not covered in the Bible. As he journeys through the Holy Land, Powell catches references to the young Jesus - from his famous birth, to the 12-year-old child debating scripture in the temple in Jerusalem, to his mysterious lost years, where he disappears from history before reappearing in the gospels around the age of 30. Powell walks where Jesus conceivably walked and travels to Nazareth, Bethlehem, Sepphoris and Jerusalem, consulting with leading historians, archaeologists and theologians to uncover what life was like as a Jew in first-century Judea. Then, the second episode, "The Ministry Begins," highlights Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist, the first event in Jesus' life that is reported in all four gospels. Powell looks to uncover how Jesus might have developed the message - radical for its time - that would form the basis of the future Christian religion. Powell travels into the Judaean desert where Jesus fasted for 40 days, and then follows the ancient routes to Galilee where Jesus taught after his exile from Nazareth. In the third installment, "From Galilee to Jerusalem," Powell travels to Capernaum, a fishing village where Jesus expanded his ministry, where he learns more from historians about the people who chose to follow Jesus, including his disciples. He then goes to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, the cornerstone of Christian ethics. Powell follows in Jesus' footsteps to Jerusalem, where after speaking with historians, rabbis and archaeologists, he uncovers a radical new idea about Jesus' final confrontation with the Jewish authorities before his arrest. Then, the finale, "The Final Days," chronicles the last moments of Jesus' life, following his entry into Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. Powell learns that Jesus' claim to be the messiah was what caused him to be sent before Pontius Pilate, and Powell gets a chance to stand on the exact steps from where Pilate would have sent Jesus to be crucified. After meeting with professors to demonstrate how different the reality of crucifixion would have been from the traditional depictions, Powell returns to Jerusalem one final time to explore a traditional tomb and discover how the apostles' belief in the resurrection of Jesus - as described in all four gospels - would become be the catalyst for a new religion: Christianity.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Impossible Factual